Timber Theft (Charges in NY)

ForestFair forestfair at aol.com
Mon Jun 15 12:19:18 EST 1998

TREEFARMER at webtv.net wrote:

>Is this the way laws work? Steal from the state and one gets slapped
>with a felony. Steal from an individual and one doesn't even get charged
>with a misdemeanor. 

Timber thieves in NY aren't "specialists" -- they steal from private
landowners, from the state, and from NGOs.  So a conviction in one arena is
helpful to all.  

Case in point, the logger named Gerald "Red" DURKEE of Argyle, NY, who removed
red oak from our woodlot in 1988.  We tried to get him charged, but the law
enforcement people didn't follow up on it.  Since then, there has been an
effort to educate and agitate various players, and arrests and convictions are
easier.   Logger Red "Gerald" Durkee was convicted a few months ago in a court
in the town in which our land is located for stealing trees from a state
forest.  No jail time, though, just a $500 fine.

The downside is that most timber thieves get away with their crimes here
because the owner does not realize a theft occurred.
And there are still law enforcement people who can't understand why you're
complaining when you still have a lot of trees left!  Then you have to point
out that if a Ford dealer with 1,000 cars on the lot had one vehicle stolen,
leaving 999, every effort would be made to apprehend the perpetrtor ... and it
shouldn't be different with trees.  
Family Forest Fair '98, Oct. 3 & 4, Greenwich NY 
Info:  http://www.rpi.edu/~wentor/NYFOA.html

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